Friday, June 22, 2007

For the Love of John and Jane Doe

I am Jane Doe. Or was. So was Harriet Nahanee. That's how we were described in the Eagleridge Bluffs injunction (ordered by Mr. Justice Grist) that culminated in Harriet's early death and my my own 10 month incarceration.

And I've been doing some thinking about this. One can only conclude that the judicial practice of allowing the dumping of hoards of unnamed citizens into the Jane and John Doe category is a dangerous one. Both in reality (Harriet Nahanee's untimely death and my own imprisonment at Alouette) and in principle. It is certainly undemocratic not to have the dignity of your own name
listed in a judge's order (injunction) that may incarcerate you or even kill you.

The real reason Harriet and I we not included in the injunction under our real names was because Mr. Falcon, BC's Minister of transport, and Kiewitt & Sons didn't want to themselves be seen as prosecuting us. They wanted Madam Justice Brown to do the prosecuting. And Madam stepped up to the plate with Contempt of Court charges, which then pitted our Offices against her Offices. The Supreme Court of BC has mighty offices indeed. We all know who died and who's is prison. However, at least during the Contempt hearings, I was called Mrs Krawczyk in court, instead of Jane Doe. And I thought when the original injunction came up for renewal, (May 15th) that I would be allowed to apply to speak against the renewal of the injunction on the grounds that I was one of the Jane Doe's on the order. This is customarily granted, especially if one is incarcerated under the order. But silly me. I was cut off at the pass. I was told the entire category of Jane Doe had bee eliminated on the order. And as my own name wasn't on the application either, I had no right to speak against the renewal, even though I am imprisoned by it.

I was, and remain quite stunned by the brilliance of the government and the corporate lawyers. But why shouldn't they be brilliant? They are the best that our tax payers' money can buy. And I am just as stunned by our own BC Supreme Court's willingness to legalize a process that demonstrates how a court system protects a corporate system; both of which are arrogant, rude, lazy, and hold contempt for due process of law and the rights of cititzents involved in environmental dispute.

I protest. For myself, for Harriet Nahanee, and for all of the disappeared Jane and John Doe's of the world.
Betty K

Stand Up for Harriet Nahanee!

People across the British Columbia were shocked by the 14 day jail sentence handed down to 71 year old native Elder Harriet Nahanee in January, 2007 for peacefully protesting while inside an injunction zone (on unceded indian land) at Eagleridge Bluffs. Harriet served 9 days in prison at a maximum security pre-trial facility. She had filed an appeal, but became gravely ill and died from pneumonia shortly after being released from prison.

A petition that raises specific concerns surrounding Harriet Nahanee’s sentencing is in circulation. It demands that our elected officials call an immediate public inquiry into the handling of this case.

Please honour a very courageous native elder by reading the petition, signing it and passing the link on to others on your contact lists.

The Supreme Court of BC must be held accountable for their actions in this case. It is the duty of our elected officials to ensure that a full and public inquiry is held.

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